INTERIORS

Cebu cabinetry brand opens

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Those sleek-looking kitchen systems you see in magazines can now be installed in your own home, thanks to Oppein.

The Cebu-based cabinetry brand,which touts itself as a more affordable alternative to the high-end European brands, has been making a homeowner’s dreams come true by turning kitchens into entertainment centers.

Therese and Oliver Ko, general manager and managing director of Palmax Solutions Inc.

The global trend calls for the installation of massive kitchen islands around which friends and family can gather round merrily as they partake of freshly-cooked food.

It’s all about image, says Oliver Ko, managing director of Oppein’s local distributor Palmax Solutions, Inc. He says Filipinos still cling to the idea of a “dirty kitchen” where most of the heavy duty tasks are done. This is why, he says their range hood is not industrial strength, it won’t be able to combat the delicious aroma of frying daing or tuyo.

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What concerns Filipinos more is the overall look, and these are easily addressed by the array of materials and fittings that are available at the Oppein showroom.

Oppein decided to open their Alabang showroom because of popular demand. This demand is such that they have had homeowners flying in from Manila to choose from their items, and then adding extra for freight fees and to fly in their team for the installment process. This is the same scenario for clients in Bacolod, and that is where they are planning to open next.

The color released this year by Oppein worldwide is Teal, and more homeowners are looking for a stylized European look as opposed to the classic kitchen with the frames and arcs. The finishes are also veering away from traditional wood grain and more into softer, sleeker fabric-looking materials. Granite surfaces are also being phased out, for health and safety reasons. “Granite absorbs moisture, so if you leave your raw fish or meat on the countertop, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria,” Ko explains. He recommends materials such as quartz stone or sintered stone instead.

Their showroom has a wide array of materials to choose from, with ranges between finishes and price points. Oppein produces world-class cabinets and furnishing everyday using advanced production software and woodworking equipment from German company, Homag.

Global partners include Silestone by Consentino and Caesarstone, leading brands of Quartz surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms; Austrian company Egger which provides high-quality particleboards; Matson Lumber which supplies raw materials for solid wood doors and base cabinets; and hardware makers Blum and Hettich, from Austria and Germany, respectively, which produce top-quality hardware for door openings and drawer systems.

With all the materials available in their showroom, Ko observes how Filipinos usually go about their home-fittings purchases.

“They are not particularly conscious about trends; their topmost consideration will always be the budget. They will come to the store with a budget in mind, but once they get here and see all the items we have available, they start adding on the accessories. Sometimes it becomes a challenge for the design team to try and fit everything in.”

The Oppein showroom offers the latest trends in kitchen and living room looks

Functionality is also at the core of their designs, with the team visiting the property to make sure that the blueprints and the measurements match. “Space is always a consideration. Normally, we transform a bare unit into a living space, as clients who purchase their condo units usually want the unit to be redone,” Ko says. While storage is very important especially for those living in smaller condo unit cuts, they take into consideration that you want to be able to walk down your hallway without anything blocking your way. “We don’t just create pieces and install them — we also care if you can get off your bed easily even when a cabinet door is open.”

As part of a network of more than 4,200 showrooms worldwide, Oppein in the Philippines positions itself as the ideal one-stop home furnishing solutions provider. For more information, visit www.oppeinhome.com

BY MAAND’ASISPAMARAN

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